legitimating television media convergence and cultural status

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Legitimating Television

Author : Michael Z Newman
ISBN : 9781136942723
Genre : Performing Arts
File Size : 50. 23 MB
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Legitimating Television: Media Convergence and Cultural Status explores how and why television is gaining a new level of cultural respectability in the 21st century. Once looked down upon as a "plug-in drug" offering little redeeming social or artistic value, television is now said to be in a creative renaissance, with critics hailing the rise of Quality series such as Mad Men and 30 Rock. Likewise, DVDs and DVRs, web video, HDTV, and mobile devices have shifted the longstanding conception of television as a household appliance toward a new understanding of TV as a sophisticated, high-tech gadget. Newman and Levine argue that television’s growing prestige emerges alongside the convergence of media at technological, industrial, and experiential levels. Television is permitted to rise in respectability once it is connected to more highly valued media and audiences. Legitimation works by denigrating "ordinary" television associated with the past, distancing the television of the present from the feminized and mass audiences assumed to be inherent to the "old" TV. It is no coincidence that the most validated programming and technologies of the convergence era are associated with a more privileged viewership. The legitimation of television articulates the medium with the masculine over the feminine, the elite over the mass, reinforcing cultural hierarchies that have long perpetuated inequalities of gender and class. Legitimating Television urges readers to move beyond the question of taste—whether TV is "good" or "bad"—and to focus instead on the cultural, political, and economic issues at stake in television’s transformation in the digital age.

Video Revolutions

Author : Michael Z. Newman
ISBN : 9780231169516
Genre : Performing Arts
File Size : 24. 80 MB
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Since the days of early television, video has been an indispensable part of culture, society, and moving-image media industries. Over the decades, it has been an avant-garde artistic medium, a high-tech consumer gadget, a format for watching movies at home, a force for democracy, and the ultimate, ubiquitous means of documenting reality. In the twenty-first century, video is the name we give all kinds of moving images. We know it as an adaptable medium that bridges analog and digital, amateur and professional, broadcasting and recording, television and cinema, art and commercial culture, and old media and new digital networks. In this history, Michael Z. Newman casts video as a medium of shifting value and legitimacy in relation to other media and technologies, particularly film and television. Video has been imagined as more or less authentic or artistic than movies or television, as more or less democratic and participatory, as more or less capable of capturing the real. Techno-utopian rhetoric has repeatedly represented video as a revolutionary medium, promising to solve the problems of the past and the presentÑoften the very problems associated with television and the society shaped by itÑand to deliver a better future. Video has also been seen more negatively, particularly as a threat to movies and their culture. This study considers video as an object of these hopes and fears and builds an approach to thinking about the concept of the medium in terms of cultural status.

Feminist Media Studies

Author : Liesbet van Zoonen
ISBN : 1446240002
Genre :
File Size : 34. 90 MB
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Feminists have long recognized the significance of the media as a site for the expression of - or challenges to - existing constructions of gender. In this broad-ranging analysis, Liesbet van Zoonen explores the ways in which feminist theory and research contribute to the fuller understanding of the multiple roles of the media in the construction of gender in contemporary societies. The text initially outlines some major themes in feminist media studies and the ways in which they offer specific models for understanding the media. The author goes on to examine the key questions posed by a gendered approach within communication and cultural studies. Issues explored include: theories of transmission, representation, construction and discourse; the structures of media organization and production; the analysis of media representations through content analysis and semiotics; the contradictions of the gendered image as spectacle; new approaches to understanding the audience and the politics of media reception; and the potential of feminist and interpretive research strategies.

Cupcakes Pinterest And Ladyporn

Author : Elana Levine
ISBN : 9780252097669
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 81. 45 MB
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Media expansion into the digital realm and the continuing segregation of users into niches has led to a proliferation of cultural products targeted to and consumed by women. Though often dismissed as frivolous or excessively emotional, feminized culture in reality offers compelling insights into the American experience of the early twenty-first century. Elana Levine brings together writings from feminist critics that chart the current terrain of feminized pop cultural production. Analyzing everything from Fifty Shades of Grey to Pinterest to pregnancy apps, contributors examine the economic, technological, representational, and experiential dimensions of products and phenomena that speak to, and about, the feminine. As these essays show, the imperative of productivity currently permeating feminized pop culture has created a generation of texts that speak as much to women's roles as public and private workers as to an impulse for fantasy or escape. Incisive and compelling, Cupcakes, Pinterest, and Ladyporn sheds new light on contemporary women's engagement with an array of media forms in the context of postfeminist culture and neoliberalism.

Seeing Through The Eighties

Author : Jane Feuer
ISBN : 9780822382690
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 73. 6 MB
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The 1980s saw the rise of Ronald Reagan and the New Right in American politics, the popularity of programs such as thirtysomething and Dynasty on network television, and the increasingly widespread use of VCRs, cable TV, and remote control in American living rooms. In Seeing Through the Eighties, Jane Feuer critically examines this most aesthetically complex and politically significant period in the history of American television in the context of the prevailing conservative ideological climate. With wit, humor, and an undisguised appreciation of TV, she demonstrates the richness of this often-slighted medium as a source of significance for cultural criticism and delivers a compelling decade-defining analysis of our most recent past. With a cast of characters including Michael, Hope, Elliot, Nancy, Melissa, and Gary; Alexis, Krystle, Blake, and all the other Carringtons; not to mention Maddie and David; even Crockett and Tubbs, Feuer smoothly blends close readings of well-known programs and analysis of television’s commercial apparatus with a thorough-going theoretical perspective engaged with the work of Baudrillard, Fiske, and others. Her comparative look at Yuppie TV, Prime Time Soaps, and made-for-TV-movie Trauma Dramas reveals the contradictions and tensions at work in much prime-time programming and in the frustrations of the American popular consciousness. Seeing Through the Eighties also addresses the increased commodification of both the producers and consumers of television as a result of technological innovations and the introduction of new marketing techniques. Claiming a close relationship between television and the cultures that create and view it, Jane Feuer sees the eighties through televison while seeing through television in every sense of the word.

Shaded Lives

Author : Beretta E. Smith-Shomade
ISBN : 0813531055
Genre : Performing Arts
File Size : 36. 61 MB
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Since its invention, television has been one of the biggest influences on American culture. Through this medium, multiple visions and disparate voices have attempted to stake a place in viewer consumption. Yet even as this programming supposedly reflects characteristics of the general American populace, television-generated images are manipulated and contradictory, predicated by the various economic, political, and cultural forces placed upon it. In Shaded Lives, Beretta Smith-Shomade sets out to dissect images of the African American woman in television from the 1980s. She calls their depiction "binaristic," or split. African American women, although an essential part of television programming today, are still presented as distorted and deviant. By closely examining the television texts of African-American women in comedy, music video, television news and talk shows (Oprah Winfrey is highlighted), Smith-Shomade shows how these voices are represented, what forces may be at work in influencing these images, and what alternate ways of viewing might be available. Smith-Shomade offers critical examples of where the sexist and racist legacy of this country collide with the cultural strength of Black women in visual and real-lived culture. As the nation's climate of heightened racial divisiveness continues to relegate the representation of Black women to depravity and display, her study is not only useful, it is critical.

Struggling For Ordinary

Author : Andre Cavalcante
ISBN : 9781479864584
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 42. 90 MB
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An in-depth look at the role of media in the struggle for transgender inclusion From television shows like Orange is the New Black and Transparent, to the real-life struggles of Caitlyn Jenner splashed across the headlines, transgender visibility is on the rise. But what was it like to live as a transgender person in a media environment before this transgender boom in television? While pop culture imaginations of transgender identity flourish and shape audience’s perceptions of trans identities, what does this new media visibility mean for transgender individuals themselves? Struggling for Ordinary engagingly answers these questions, offering a snapshot of how transgender individuals made their way toward a sense of ordinary life by integrating available media into their everyday experiences. Drawing on in-depth interviews with transgender communities, Andre Cavalcante offers a richly detailed account of how the media impacts the lives and experiences of transgender individuals. He grippingly looks at the emotional toll that media takes on this population along with their resilience in the face of disempowerment. Deeply rooted in the life stories of transgender people, the book uses everyday circumstances to show how media and technology operate as a medium through which transgender individuals are able to cultivate an understanding of their identities, build inhabitable worlds, and achieve the routine affordances of everyday life from which they are often excluded. Expertly researched and eloquently argued, Struggling for Ordinary sheds a fascinating new light of the everyday struggles of individuals and communities, to seek a life in which transgender identity is fully integrated into the ordinary.

Atari Age

Author : Michael Z. Newman
ISBN : 9780262035712
Genre : Games & Activities
File Size : 74. 72 MB
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The cultural contradictions of early video games: a medium for family fun (but mainly for middle-class boys), an improvement over pinball and television (but possibly harmful) Beginning with the release of the Magnavox Odyssey and Pong in 1972, video games, whether played in arcades and taverns or in family rec rooms, became part of popular culture, like television. In fact, video games were sometimes seen as an improvement on television because they spurred participation rather than passivity. These “space-age pinball machines” gave coin-operated games a high-tech and more respectable profile. In Atari Age, Michael Newman charts the emergence of video games in America from ball-and-paddle games to hits like Space Invaders and Pac-Man, describing their relationship to other amusements and technologies and showing how they came to be identified with the middle class, youth, and masculinity. Newman shows that the “new media” of video games were understood in varied, even contradictory ways. They were family fun (but mainly for boys), better than television (but possibly harmful), and educational (but a waste of computer time). Drawing on a range of sources—including the games and their packaging; coverage in the popular, trade, and fan press; social science research of the time; advertising and store catalogs; and representations in movies and television—Newman describes the series of cultural contradictions through which the identity of the emerging medium worked itself out. Would video games embody middle-class respectability or suffer from the arcade's unsavory reputation? Would they foster family togetherness or allow boys to escape from domesticity? Would they make the new home computer a tool for education or just a glorified toy? Then, as now, many worried about the impact of video games on players, while others celebrated video games for familiarizing kids with technology essential for the information age.

Spectacular Digital Effects

Author : Kristen Whissel
ISBN : 9780822377146
Genre : Performing Arts
File Size : 77. 99 MB
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By developing the concept of the "digital effects emblem," Kristen Whissel contributes a new analytic rubric to cinema studies. An "effects emblem" is a spectacular, computer-generated visual effect that gives stunning expression to a film's key themes. Although they elicit feelings of astonishment and wonder, effects emblems do not interrupt narrative, but are continuous with story and characterization and highlight the narrative stakes of a film. Focusing on spectacular digital visual effects in live-action films made between 1989 and 2011, Whissel identifies and examines four effects emblems: the illusion of gravity-defying vertical movement, massive digital multitudes or "swarms," photorealistic digital creatures, and morphing "plasmatic" figures. Across films such as Avatar, The Matrix, the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Jurassic Park, Titanic, and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, these effects emblems heighten the narrative drama by contrasting power with powerlessness, life with death, freedom with constraint, and the individual with the collective.

Indie

Author : Michael Z. Newman
ISBN : 9780231513524
Genre : Performing Arts
File Size : 63. 87 MB
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America's independent films often seem to defy classification. Their strategies of storytelling and representation range from raw, no-budget projects to more polished releases of Hollywood's "specialty" divisions. Yet understanding American indies involves more than just considering films. Filmmakers, distributors, exhibitors, festivals, critics, and audiences all shape the art's identity, which is always understood in relation to the Hollywood mainstream. By locating the American indie film in the historical context of the "Sundance-Miramax" era (the mid-1980s to the end of the 2000s), Michael Z. Newman considers indie cinema as an alternative American film culture. His work isolates patterns of character and realism, formal play, and oppositionality and the functions of the festivals, art houses, and critical media promoting them. He also accounts for the power of audiences to identify indie films in distinction to mainstream Hollywood and to seek socially emblematic characters and playful form in their narratives. Analyzing films such as Welcome to the Dollhouse (1996), Lost in Translation (2003), Pulp Fiction (1994), and Juno (2007), along with the work of Nicole Holofcener, Jim Jarmusch, John Sayles, Steven Soderbergh, and the Coen brothers, Newman investigates the conventions that cast indies as culturally legitimate works of art. He binds these diverse works together within a cluster of distinct viewing strategies and invites a reevaluation of the difference of independent cinema and its relationship to class and taste culture.

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